The NHL Game Breakdown keeps on keeping on here on DraftKings. We take an in-depth look at all of the games on the schedule each day in terms of expected pace of play, Vegas lines, and defense vs. position match ups. Monday features eight games in total which is a bit high but this is a very spread out week partially due to the NBA being on vacation.
NHL $22,000 Face-Off
We have a nice way to make some big money in a GPP for tonight.
The news is coming in as always but there will be updates on Twitter because of the nature of Monday’s unusually high slate. All injury updates will be done via Twitter so we can keep up on the latest. Tyler Seguin now out 3-6 weeks by the way and not 2-4 as previously thought.
Rangers @ Islanders
The rivalry continues with a few twists. First off, Henrik Lundqvist will not be starting as he has a vascular injury (out a few more weeks). Instead he has been replaced ably by Cam Talbot. That may be a good thing for the Rangers because lately the Islanders definitely were in Lundqvist’s head. Now the Islanders will not have Kyle Okposo who is out at least another month with an “upper body injury”. This is going to be a game that features lots of swings. It does not seem like the Islanders will be able to score three straight goals this time around on the Rangers. Josh Bailey and Anders Lee have been hot with Tavares of late even the other night when Tavares did not score a point against Toronto then came back with four points against Columbus. Rick Nash is on his way to a 40+ goal season and Derek Stepan is right near a point a game pace. Keep an eye on Kevin Klein who just keeps on getting the points that Dan Boyle was supposed to. Martin St. Louis has dropped off and guys like Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, and Carl Hagelin are going to have to come up big because the Islanders’ depth and physicality makes a difference.
Money Line: Isles – 135, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Derek Stepan, C, Rangers ($4800)
- Kevin Klein, D, Rangers ($4000)
- Anders Lee, C, Isles ($5600)
- John Tavares, C, Isles ($8800)
Hurricanes @ Senators
These teams could play this close to the vest and that seems like the likely scenario despite the fact that Ottawa has scored 11 goals the last two games. Carolina again still has problem scoring on the road. Obviously check to see who is going to start for each team because more than likely Robin Lehner should be against Cam Ward but you never know. Milan Michalek has 11 points in his last 13 games after starting the season with just nine points in 36 games. Ottawa is a moderate favorite against Carolina though maybe the moneyline could be a bit higher. When we look at how this could go, keep in mind Ottawa’s top six plus Mike Hoffman is more of a threat especially against a team that can barely muster two goals a night and gives up almost three a contest. It is almost eerily consistent on the road for them lately. Ottawa has to keep the momentum and though defensively they have some awful lapses. Let’s face facts. Erik Karlsson, Cody Ceci, and company just cannot play defense consistent enough to hold more teams under 30 shots a night. If Marc Methot is healthy, that provides a boost but that has been a bit fleeting. If Ottawa gets up by a couple goals, this could get rough. However if they do not, things will be interesting.
Line: Sens -155. O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Eric Staal, C, Canes ($5400)
- Jeff Skinner, RW, Canes ($5300)
- Milan Michalek, LW, Sens ($4600)
- Erik Karlsson, D, Sens ($7800)
Canadiens @ Red Wings
The game that everyone will be interested in as far as the Atlantic Division. Montreal and Detroit are two of the three teams battling for the divisional and possibly conference crown when all is said and done. Detroit is probably the team with more offensive firepower considering you have Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk still producing at nearly a point a game while the young guns Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist really are part of a rather bright future (they both are on pace for over 30 goals). Montreal has Max Pacioretty who is just a natural born sniper but he is stuck playing with Dale Weise and an inconsistent but streaky Dave Desharnais. Also the system of Michel Therrien is prevalent on icing the puck till hell freezes over. That is the problem there. Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher. Remember the Red Wings have an interesting blueline issue now that Niklas Kronwall really has not panned out to where some Red Wings brass expected. While the Habs have Subban and Andrei Markov, these games are often closely played and if it comes down to goaltending or a shootout, one would have to side with Carey Price because Jimmy Howard in one goal games can be woof and he is 0 for the shootout this year.
Line: Red Wings -125. O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Max Pacioretty, LW, Habs ($9000)
- Carey Price, D, Habs ($9400)
- Gustav Nyquist, RW, Wings ($5000)
- Jimmy Howard, G, Wings ($6800)
Oilers @ Jets
Here come the Oilers! This team did beat New Jersey somehow but then again that is New Jersey. Despite that, they still have given up 19 goals in their last five games. Viktor Fasth will likely be in net while Ben Scrivens still recovers from a hamstring injury. The Jets have quite a few offensive options but the problem again is the defense. There was that 15 game stretch or so where Winnipeg actually committed to defense. The 5-4 shootout win against Detroit was just an exercise in high anxiety for Paul Maurice but again the offense came through when it counted. Their 3-1-1 mark over their last five hides the reality that they had only scored eight goals in the four games before the five goal outburst. That is the thing. Winnipeg has Mathieu Perreault’s line and then the Ladd line. After that, any offense is a bonus unless if Michael Frolik is hanging out on the third line. Edmonton just does not and can not play at a fast pace. If Winnipeg pushes it, Edmonton will be seeing Richard Bachmann before they know it again. However, the Oilers have to play better defense and though Benoit Pouillot helps, the real hurt is not having Taylor Hall. At least they would be a bit more of a threat.
Line: Jets -220, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C, Oilers ($5200)
- Nail Yakupov, RW, Oilers ($4100)
- Dustin Byfuglien, D, Jets ($8000)
- Andrew Ladd, LW, Jets ($4700)
Coyotes @ Avalanche
I was looking at this and hey Matt Duchene does have eight points in his last ten games so there are signs of a pulse with the Colorado offense and it just has not been total offense by committee. Semyon Varlamov is going to keep playing until forever it seems. He is at least facing less than 29 shots a game over his last twelve games and that does help. Part of that is the level in opposition and part of that is paying attention to some defensive details. Gabriel Landeskog kind of admitted that they really try to push the pace too much sometimes and that tends to burn them. Now Varlamov does not have to play the frenetic pace that he was seeing as much (sometimes 35+ shots a night). The Coyotes and Mike Smith had a nice stretch of games after the all star break but now Smith has allowed nine goals in his last two starts. Some of those are definitely ones he wanted back. He was going to regress back to what he was at some point. The pace of this game should be pushed heavily as Arizona has no real choice. There is no reason why Colorado should lose this game and a modest stack may just be a good idea. Just choose carefully.
Line: Avs -180, O/U 5.5
Players to Watch
- Antoine Vermette, C, Coyotes ($4100)
- Keith Yandle, D, Coyotes ($5500)
- Alex Tanguay, LW, Avs ($4000)
- Semyon Varlamov, G, Avs ($8100)
Flames @ Bruins
The Flames and Bruins both clearly need this game badly as they try to hold the barbarians I mean the teams behind them at bay. This game expects to be in your face and gritty with a little flair here and there. Tuukka Rask likely in net against possibly Jonas Hiller if he is well enough. If it is Kari Ramo in net, that could change the spread a bit. The Flames need their top four defensemen to really step up in this one against a Boston team that can be beat with speed. Zdeno Chara does not have the wheels he once had and that reach only goes so far. Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug are still developing even though they are good in their own right. Boston has given up 17 goals in their last five games and that has let the door open for Florida while Calgary is 3-2 in their last five but must keep winning as the teams below them are on fire. This is often how it works in the West as the point pace picks up. The East is a hair less that way as some teams are sliding a hair back but not much yet. Maybe they will not and that is Boston’s problem. They are going to have to out muscle Calgary with all four lines. If they can do that, Calgary’s speed will not matter as much.
Line: Flames -115, O/U 5
Players to Watch
- David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins ($3200)
- Tuukka Rask, G, Bruins ($8700)
- T.J. Brodie, D, Flames ($4500)
- Sean Monahan, C, Flames ($4700)
Wild @ Canucks
Gone in an instant it seems as Vancouver suddenly finds itself only a few points ahead of the Wild here if the Wild should win. The Wild are 4-0-1 behind Devan Dubnyk and honestly his four shutouts in his last 13 starts are just incredible considering how low Minnesota had sunk confidence wise. Now they are back to scoring near three goals a game and have even bumped up their road totals a hair. They are almost a .500 team away from home. Vancouver has scored 20 goals in their last five games but is only four over .500 at home. Which Ryan Miller do you get? That is the question. No one really knows and a team like Minnesota with a pretty solid top six can test Vancouver, who is more or less a team with not that much depth after their top six and top defensive pairing. Yes Linden Vey can score a little and Alex Burrows too or even Jannik Hansen but it is often not consistent in any way. This is a huge game for the Sedin Twins. They have to show something and buoy their team while Minnesota just has to keep playing like they have been.
Line: Canucks -135. O/U 5
Players to Watch
- Thomas Vanek, LW, Wild ($5200)
- Devan Dubnyk, G, Wild ($8500)
- Daniel Sedin, LW, Canucks ($6100)
- Ryan Miller, G, Canucks ($8300)
Lightning @ Kings
So how much did people wish the Kings were dead already? Though tit has not been pretty, Los Angeles has managed to win four straight games and Jonathan Quick has really battled. It has been far from pretty much like how Tampa Bay played last night as they subdued the Sharks 5-2 behind two goals from Ryan Callahan as the Stamkos and Johnson lines both hurt San Jose along with a side of Cedric Paquette. Ben Bishop will likely get a rest as Andrei Vasilevskiy is the expected probable. Honestly the kid may be better than Bishop in some ways. He may be a little too good for his own good at times but that is okay. Los Angeles is riding the refurbished That 70’s Line while the Anze Kopitar line is struggling mightily. They had their best defensive game in a long time against Washington of all teams as they allowed only one goal. With Tampa, a young team, on a back to back, they will have to play their hard working, grinding style with a bit of good timing offensively. If Los Angeles does not slow this game down, Tampa Bay stacks could possibly dominate. It’s either line two Tampa or that 70’s line for LA more than likely if you go that route.
Line: Kings -150. O/U 5.5 (Expect late movement!)
Players to Watch
- Steven Stamkos, C, Bolts ($8300)
- Tyler Johnson, C, Bolts ($7000)
- Jeff Carter, C, Kings ($6500)
- Jonathan Quick, G, Kings ($8800)